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Spain to become a full member of ELIXIR, the European infrastructure for bioinformatics

17 Dec 14




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ELIXIR coordinates the storage, access and development of the software needed to understand biological data

Six institutions coordinated through the INB, whose central node is hosted at the CNIO, will participate in the European infrastructure 

Spain will become a full member of ELIXIR, the European bioinformatics infrastructure created to optimise biological data obtained from life sciences research. Spain participates in ELIXIR through the National Bioinformatics Institute (INB), a platform of the National Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII), whose central node is hosted at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO). Six INB institutions are participating in ELIXIR: the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG).

What is ELIXIR and how Spain will contribute?

ELIXIR coordinates the storage, access and development of the software needed to understand biological data. According to ELIXIR, “for the first time, we are creating an infrastructure – a kind of highway system – that integrates research data from all corners of Europe and ensures a seamless service provision that is easily accessible to all,” and which  “will facilitate discoveries that benefit humankind.”

Spain provides ELIXIR with key services in the areas of biocomputing and bioinformatics, including the assessment of bioinformatics methods, genomic and biomedical data analysis, and data mining. Furthermore, the Spanish team ELIXIR co-leads the development of the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) database, the main repository for genomic data of biomedical interest, which is an essential component of the bioinformatics infrastructure for data analysis on rare diseases.

ELIXIR has already received confirmation from the Spanish Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, that  “the inter-departmental process for the approval of the Elixir Consortium Agreement (ECA) is underway” (ELIXIR press release). Spain will sign the Elixir Consortium Agreement (ECA) and will become a full member before the next ELIXIR Board meeting in April 2015.

Spanish participation in ELIXIR is based on an agreement between the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the ISCIII.

ELIXIR was officially launched in December 2013. So far, its full members are the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and 11 countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

For further information on ELIXIR visit the website


About IRB Barcelona

Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, a seal that was awarded in 2011. The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 27 laboratories and eight core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona is a CERCA center, and a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).